09/29/17 Friday in Moab, UT
Not far from Canyonlands NP is Dead Horse Point SP, from which Pam/Randy could see the valley Canyonlands Schafer Trail. We could even spot the Dead Horse Overlooks from our Jeep trail. So it seemed a good idea to check this plateau for ourselves. Wonder where the name came from? There’s an old story handed down among the cowboys here since the late 1800’s. The point at the end of this plateau was once used as a corral, for the cowboys to pick out the most healthy among the wild mustangs. Prior to the end of that point was a narrow neck of land where the cowboys would pile branches and brush to fence off the animals. The story goes that once, for unknown reasons, they “left the other horses corralled on the waterless point where they died of thirst within view of the Colorado River, 2,000 feet below.” Naturally this park was not “free” with our National Park Senior Pass, so it cost $15 per car.
The blue ponds in the back are where they are mining Potash (potassium chloride), a salt, by pumping water down to where that salt has been buried by other sediments. This dissolves the salt so this salt water can be pumped to the surface. They add a blue dye to enhance the speed of evaporation. “Twenty ton scrapers, guided by lasers, harvest the dry resulting dry salt.” It’s then made into fertilizer.
Our day isn’t finished, we wanted to see the rest of Arches NP. So off to that nearby park. We stopped at the Visitor Center to buy some Arches t-shirts, fill our water bottles and visit the restrooms, then drove to the end of the road to complete our enjoyment of this park. Below are the “Tunnel Arches”.